Walk of the Christmas turkey in Clonaslee and help Laois Hospice as Slieve Bloom walk celebrate silver year

“Whatever the weather, the Clonaslee walk will never be cancelled.”

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There might be a few clouds on St Stephen's Day in Laois but they'll all have a silver lining if they are floating above those taking part in the Clonaslee Walk in aid of Laois Hospice.

The Clonaslee St Stephen's Day 2017 walk in aid of Laois Hospice was launched in the Heritage Centre, Clonaslee on Thursday, November 16.

This year marks an extra special year for the organisers as it will be the 25th Silver Anniversary of the first walk.

In attendance were Fr Thomas O'Reilly, Cllr Seamus McDonald, Seamus O'Donoghue, Chairperson Laois Hospice Foundation Families and friends of now deceased walkers of 25 years ago.

A large attendance of volunteers from the local community were present also and all were warmly welcomed by Sheila Bourke who outlined the history of the St. Stephen's Day Walk, reminding us that it had been the brainchild of the late Donal Sweeney who was a great forward thinker and planner.

Sheila was delighted to welcome Donal's wife Noreen and sister Loretta.

Some 25 years ago 14 walkers left Clonaslee and walked 10 miles to the Booster station in Capard, Rosenallis, hence the long walk every year is 10 miles.

Between 800 -1000 now walk the walk each year.

This walk to date has raised almost €900,000 for hospice care in Laois.

A special tribute was paid to the people who were on the first walks and who have now passed to their eternal reward.
What a wonderful tribute to them that 25 years on we are still walking!!

Seamus O'Donoghue, Chairperson Laois Hospice Foundation, sincerely thanked the great contribution made by the Community of Clonaslee to Laois Hospice and reminded us that Laois Hospice is a voluntary organisation and every penny raised on St Stephen's Day goes to Laois Hospice to provide Palliative care nursing in a home environment, for those people who wish to live out their lives in their own home.

He also outlined the difference between Hospice care and what the Cuisle centre provide .
Hospice care is looking after the terminally ill, providing palliative care for people in their own homes the Cuisle Centre provides counselling services, holistic therapy, art and craft activities, exercises to people living with cancer or who are survivors of cancer.

Sheila thanked all the wonderful volunteers who work tirelessly over the Christmas period to prepare for the walk, thanks also to Coillte, Civil Defence.

A special thanks were extended to all the sponsors without whom this great event would not be so successful.

The organisers will be on duty from as early sa 6am with the Community Centre open from 8am to prepare all the food for the walkers who’ll be heading off from early morning.

People doing the long walk are advised to depart from the centre by 12.30pm. The family walk leaves the centre at 1pm . It will be officially launched by Seamus O’Donoghue. 

Sponsorship also plays a significant part of our fund raiser i.e. donations of hams, salads, minerals, Christmas cakes etc are greatly appreciated.

Sponsorship cards are available from Sheila Bourke 0876339540, Niall Bourke 0874116274. In Portlaoise from Mary Lynch 0872439749.

Sheila Bourke says the walk has a motto. “Whatever the weather, the Clonaslee walk will never be cancelled.”